Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Comparative Literature


Eugenia Paulicelli

Committee Members

Giancarlo Lombardi

Paolo Fasoli

Subject Categories

Comparative Literature | Italian Literature | Women's History


Fascism, feminism, Anna Banti, Italy, short stories, fascism and women


This dissertation looks at the early literary production of Anna Banti during 1930’s and 1940’s in newspapers and magazines. Female Spaces and Exceptional Women Under Fascism studies how Banti was able to publish and portray women who did not always comply with fascist propaganda’s standards, despite the harsh censorship. Banti employed dissimulation using umorismo, in order to avoid the censorship. Many scholars attributed the use of irony to Banti’s early writings to ridicule her female characters. She instead used umorismo because it leads the readership to an initial amusement but later to a reflection on women’s conditions. This research implements the study of Anna Banti’s early literary productions and shows how the author tried to establish a system of sisterhood and support among Italian women through her short stories and articles on cultural trends. Italian women could reflect on themselves and their own conditions through the representations of female fictional, real and historical characters. In her short stories, Banti generates female spaces and provides the readership with varied models of femininity from the past and present, providing Italian women under fascism with a female genealogy populated with historical and contemporary extraordinary women.

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